You don’t need to see your GP for a common cold

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You don’t need to see your GP for a common cold

The common cold, although frustrating, is a mild viral infection that usually clears up on its own within a week or two. In most cases there is no need to see your GP, however, your local Pharmacist may be able to advise on over-the-counter medications to help with your symptoms.

The main symptoms of a common cold include:

  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough

There is no cure for the common cold, but there are things you can do to self-care at home;

  • Get some rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids and eat fruit and vegetables
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, to reduce any fever
  • Use decongestant sprays, steam or tablets to relieve a blocked nose
  • Try remedies such as gargling salt water and sucking on menthol sweets

In general, a person is contagious a few days prior to any symptoms occurring until all their symptoms have gone.  There are a number of ways you can help stop the cold virus spreading:

  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Always sneeze and cough into tissues
  • Clean surfaces regularly
  • Use your own cup, plates and cutlery
  • Don’t share towels or toys

You can find more information about coughs and colds and information on your nearest pharmacy at NHS Choices.

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